The Perfect Nursery
Function is most important
One of the joys of pregnancy is the excitement of planning for your little bundle of joy’s arrival. Planning what clothes he or she will wear, organizing the home to be ready for Baby, designing the perfect nursery. There are so many cute themes, and it is just so much fun envisioning your little bundle of joy in this space. A special space just for them.
But have you ever thought about the function of the space? I am not here to tell you to not make this the perfect space for your little one and just the way you want it. But I do want you to take into consideration a few things. Here is a sleep consultant’s view on what the perfect nursery looks like… It should be dark, cool, comfortable, and boring.
Hear me out. We need a room that is conducive for a good night’s sleep. If you have been following me long enough you know how I feel about tv and Ipads before bed; they are stimulating and stimulation and sleep are like pickle juice and peanut butter – they do not work together. So we want to try to keep anything stimulating out of the room. So what does this look like?
I am talking pitch black. You should not see your hand in front of your face. It should be as dark during the day as it is in the middle of the night. At night, light will prohibit the release of melatonin, the hormone that will help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Having a bright room can also be very distracting for a child, as now they are too busy looking around the room instead of sleeping. To capture this, blackout curtains help tremendously. They also sell blackout window covers that can help to seal out the light. I really like these Blackout EZ Window Covers.
And I am also a huge advocate of baby sleeping in the same place for naps AND nighttime, so naps should be done in the crib too. With a dark room you will notice nap times are easier. We want to aim for level 10 darkness 24 hours a day.
Studies have shown that babies sleep best when the room is 68-72 degrees. Look for clues from Baby on this one, but babies tend to sleep best when in a cooler room and in a comfortable sleep sack or onesie, then no cover and in a warm room. Avoid using loose blankets for babies under a year old. If you are worried about your baby being too cold, here is a reference on how to best dress Baby for sleeping in different temperatures.
Babies sleep for nearly half the day, so a great mattress is worth the investment. It is really worth the time to look into mattresses and really do your research. After all, this is the surface your baby will be on most of their time.
As much as we think adding soft music, cute pictures, lots of color, and flashing lights help soothe your baby, it actually does the opposite. All of these things are stimulating. Like we mentioned above, stimulation does not help with falling asleep.
I know this may not line up with the dream nursery you had envisioned, but I promise that better sleep is better than a wild nursery. After all, this room serves a crucial function in your baby’s day to day life, and that’s to provide sound sleep. And remember, as they get older, they will want to design their own room, and I am sure they won’t hold back.
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